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Twin headboards -- thrifted! -- are reinvented as a daybed for the guest room. Photo: LABworks360

When I stumbled upon a pair of discarded twin headboards at a garage sale, I liked the fact that they were in pretty good shape, had a panel design on the front (perfect for adding an upholstered inset), and were priced at an unbeatable $10 for the pair. I originally intended to use them to build twin beds in a spare room of my house. I even refinished them with that goal in mind.

Then one day I dreamed up an even better idea: what if I transformed those matching headboards into a charming daybed? And that's just what I did. If you have twin beds that have lost their usefulness -- or happen upon a pair at a yard sale or flea market -- follow these step-by-step instructions to build your own one-of-a-kind daybed.

SKILL LEVEL
This is a pretty easy project to tackle, requiring only basic DIY skills.

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DIY Daybed

Twin headboards -- thrifted! -- are reinvented as a daybed for the guest room. A few coats of paint and some comfy bedding complete the look. Read on to see how it was done.

DIY Daybed

Make sure the headboards you choose are structurally sound with secure joints and sturdy, sound legs. Recessed panels for upholstery are icing on the cake.

DIY Daybed

Pine will work for mattress supports (previously stained piece top), but a harder wood--like these maple boards--will be needed to fashion the side rails.

(2) 1" x 6" lengths to create the side rails
(2) 1" x 2" lengths to create the inside lip to hold mattress supports
Several lengths of 1" x 3" to cut into mattress supports

Tip: Be sure to use a hardwood like oak or maple for the side rails. Pine, a softer wood, is fine for the mattress support rails.

DIY Daybed

Hand or power saw (since there are only a few pieces required you could even have your local lumber yard cut boards to size)
Hand drill
Screwdriver(s)
Wood screws
Carpenter's square
Level

DIY Daybed

Hand or power saw (since there are only a few pieces required you could even have your local lumber yard cut boards to size)
Hand drill
Screwdriver(s)
Wood screws
Carpenter's square
Level

DIY Daybed

The two side rails will run the length of the bed, connecting the headboards at either end. The side rails will be secured directly to the outside of the headboard leg posts. To determine the length of the side rails, take the following measurements:

1. Measure the outside width of one of the headboard leg posts and double it (this will account for connecting headboards at both ends).

2. Determine the mattress length (75" for a standard twin or 80" for an extra large) and add two to four extra inches so allow the mattress to fit comfortably within the finished frame.

3. Combine your doubled leg post measurement and the mattress measurement (including the extra inches) to determine the total length of the side rail. Cut two 1" x 6" boards to size.

For my headboards, the leg post measurement doubled was 3-1/2" (1 3/4" for each leg), so I combined that measurement with my mattress length (75"), and added an additional 4" (2" leeway at the head of the mattress; 2" at the foot) for a total side rail length of 82-1/2".

DIY Daybed

Pre-drill holes to secure the lip to the rail, making certain space at both ends is equal and bottom edges are flush.

DIY Daybed

Now that your side rails are made with lip edges in place, it's time to put together the daybed's frame.

Anchoring the screws from the outside will be visible, but more secure. When the bed is finished the round screw heads will hardly be noticeable. Photo: LABworks360

1. Drill two holes,one above the other and roughly 4" apart, at both ends of the side rails. These holes should align with the center of your leg post width measurements

2. Now, determine how high you'll attach your side rails in relation to the floor. I installed my side rails 4 3/4" from the floor (at their lowest point). It seemed a good seat height for a 16" thick single mattress (no box spring) or a lower profile mattress and box spring. (Note: If there is an original rail slot in the leg, you will need to fill it with wood filler or putty before hand to avoid compromising the structural soundness of the leg post.)

3. Position the rail against the legs at the designated height, making sure the ends are flush (i.e. the rail isn't jutting out beyond the legs at either side), and drill through the side rail holes into the leg post.4. Using two, heavy duty wood screw long enough to secure the bed soundly, (I used 10 2-1/4" round headed, wood screws), attach the one end of the side rail to one of the leg posts. While these screws will be visible from the outside, they provide the most secure assembly (when refinished, the screws will hardly be noticeable-believe me!). Before attaching the other end of the rail, use a level to make certain your sideboard is straight.

4. Attach the second side rail to the opposite side. You now have a freestanding daybed frame.

DIY Daybed

Finish off the daybed frame by outfitting it with mattress supports.

1. Using your carpenter's square, make sure the bed frame is square (meaning all of the joints are perfect right angles).

2. Then measure the inside dimension from the inside of one rail to the inside of the other rail (across the width of the bed). This will be the length for the 1" x 3" pine mattress supports.

3. Cut anywhere from five to nine 1" x 3" pine lengths and space them at equal distances down the length of the bed; the supports will rest on the inside lips of the two side rails. These supports should keep the daybed frame stable and provide good support the mattress.

4. Grab your mattress, pillows, and some linens, and give your new daybed a test drive!

DIY Daybed

Interested in the distressed finish on my daybed? Check back for a follow-up post on how you can create the same look yourself. Also, check out my blog, Trout House Diaries, to see how I made an upholstered panel to dress up the bed.

Daybeds are great for a guest room. For more guest bedroom decor tips, check out this video:




  • sharon

    Where is the article that teaches how to make a daybed out of two twin headboards? I saw it a while ago but can't find it now.
    Sharon

    Reply
  • 1 Comments / 1 Pages
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